[GAMETOC] The Awakening Forest: A Turning Point for New Story in DNF

New Legion Dungeon ‘The Awakening Forest’ Released on Test Server and Future Directions

– New Legion Dungeon ‘The Awakening Forest’

Nexon has added a new legion dungeon, ‘The Awakening Forest,’ with the latest update to the Dungeon & Fighter test server on the 10th, along with adjustments to fusion stones and job balance.

The Awakening Forest is a legion dungeon added after a long time since the release of ‘Dark Island.’ The minimum fame required to enter is 55,034, and the recommended fame for Tier 3 is 62,172. Entry requirements such as fatigue and weekly reward counts follow the same rules as existing legion dungeons.

There are two difficulty levels: normal and extreme. In the normal difficulty, players will battle against three out of four randomly selected mythical beasts each week. A specific reward is given each time a boss is defeated.

The extreme difficulty is introduced for the first time. Unlike the normal difficulty, players will fight against ‘Ergo,’ one of the three sages of the Seon realm. Ergo becomes stronger and changes appearance as phases progress.

To challenge the extreme difficulty, an entry ticket called ‘Promise of the Harmonized One’ is required. This ticket can be obtained as a reward for clearing the normal difficulty or purchased at the auction house.

– Fusion Stone Engraving Example

A new growth system, ‘Fusion Stone Engraving,’ has been added. This system allows players to enhance the option stats of fusion stones by consuming ‘Forgotten Light’ obtained from clearing the Awakening Forest. Each fusion stone can be engraved up to three times, and if the result is unsatisfactory, it can be reset.

The increase in adventurer fame varies depending on which option is engraved. Due to the high setting difficulty, players need to keep trying until they get good options. Fortunately, the increase in stats is small, so there’s no need to rush.

DNF influencer Jang Ji said, “I felt like I had waited so long to try this,” and “I’m looking forward to the extreme difficulty.” Another influencer, Oh Hyungjang, commented, “The boss’s HP is high, making it tough for a 4-player party, but obtaining the ‘Fog-Wreathed Yomumu’ sub-level orb through the Awakening Forest tales will lower the difficulty of raising sub-characters.” 

– Penalty Mitigation for the Immortal Set in Specific Content

Item and character balance adjustments have been made. Instead of adjusting stats, most changes focus on triggering equipment effects. Some equipment that increased skill attack power probabilistically now applies to some skills with each attack.

For the ‘Armor of Death’s Embrace,’ an effect has been added that prevents death even after berserk mode ends, limited to the extreme difficulty of the Awakening Forest. The ‘Ent Spirit’s Boots’ exclusive option has been changed to ‘Final Damage Increase and HP/MP Recovery when HP is below 40%.’

‘Time-Reversing Memory’ no longer resets the same skill consecutively. A separate cooldown is applied to the reset skill, with an additional 2% final damage as compensation.

Equipment options that trigger ‘on skill casting’ no longer activate with skills having a cooldown of less than one second. Additionally, ‘skill cooldown reset’ will not activate with repeatedly usable skills without conditions.

Character balance adjustments have been made for some characters that were underpowered even after the adjustments in June, focusing on jobs that needed enhancement. The seven characters adjusted in June include Berserker, Dark Templar, Vagabond, Blade, Launcher (F), Paladin, and Vanguard.

The 24 jobs receiving buffs in July are Asura, Sword Master, Demon Slayer, Nen Master (F), Grappler (F), Ranger (M), Launcher (M), Spitfire (M), Assault, Mechanic (F), Spitfire (F), Ice Witch, Swift Master, Dimension Walker, Mage, Striker, Avenger, Shaman, Rogue, Necromancer, Hitman, Trouble Shooter, Dark Knight, and Creator. The update including the Awakening Forest and balance adjustments will be applied to the main server on the 18th.

– Goddess of Beauty Venus Unveiled to Explain Art Direction

Meanwhile, with the test server update, a developer note titled ‘Future Update Directions and About the Awakening Forest’ was posted. The note includes stories and art resource directions from DNF Director Jongmin Park.

Currently, the DNF story expands the worldview through a series of events encountered after entering a new world called the Seon realm. However, it has left some disappointment due to a lack of background explanation and unresolved foreshadowing.

Director Park stated regarding the story direction, “We reviewed adventurers’ opinions and the prepared content to enhance immersive storytelling,” and “We are preparing stories following the tempered blades against the threats of the Apostles, starting in earnest with the Awakening Forest.”

Recently, users have expressed dissatisfaction with the high proportion of beautiful male characters and beast characters among the Seon realm’s figures, along with character designs not fitting DNF. Additionally, there were opinions that the illustrations and avatars had too many colors, making them confusing.

In response, Director Park said, “There were aspects of recent art works that did not meet adventurers’ expectations.” He promised, “We will strengthen our direction and work review standards to recreate the unique color and appearance that adventurers loved about DNF.”

He also provided additional explanations for the extreme difficulty of the Awakening Forest, stating, “We designed it so that players need either high specs or control to clear it,” and “We have prepared exclusive rewards to motivate and encourage challenges.”

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